My wife loves the guitar. She was kind enough to let me play it too. It is a miracle of an instrument. The intonation is perfect and it has a delightful mellifluous woody sound. It is a sweet tone that I associate with the stupendous instruments made by Linda Manzer. The guitar’s action was killer. The guitar was free of any dead spots when I played scales and chords up and down the neck to test it. I was in shock that a guitar could sound so wonderful before it had been played a few months. Although the action is low, the guitar is a buzz free zone. It remained buzz free even when I played it with a rubber pick to see how it withstood a stronger attack.
Reidel, as my wife calls her, is also a pretty guitar. Mr. Melo did an astonishing job with the guitar’s finish. He made the mahogany attractive with its finish. The neck is handsome, as are the gold tuners with ebony covers. The upgrade on the top is indeed eye catching and gorgeous in its sound. I’ve NEVER been so completely pleased with a guitar in my life, nor has my wife. To add to it, my wife and I love the exclamation-mark case. I was especially pleased with its grey color. Too many makers seem to forget that black cases become ovens if left in the sun.
Thank you for bringing a genius luthier’s guitars to the states. all the best, mike
Michael Lavin, Ph.D.
Hi Mr Melo,
I have admired your guitars for some time, but haven’t had pleasure to own one. I’ve played guitar for many years, primarily Jazz, and a couple years ago started to seriously play the drums (at 41 years old!). I moved to NYC and have not played much guitar since then.
Recently I started to think about selling my “x” custom electric archie archtop, originally for financial reasons, and went to Golden Age Guitars to talk to John about it. Well I played a number of guitars, and didn’t find anything that I liked as much as my “x” (I wasn’t looking for a larger archtop, but I sure did see the BEAUTIFUL full size models of yours)… I was about to leave when I saw that he had a used EM3, I picked it up and immediately fell in love with it… I ended up trading my “x” for it!
My new EM3 has inspired a whole new relationship with the guitar after more than 30 years playing, and I have started playing seriously again. After many years of playing and owning MANY guitars, including some very fine ones and a couple custom guitars made for me like the “x”, somehow the EM3 is the first guitar that truly feels like “my” guitar. I have made guitars myself (classical) so I can appreciate you superlative craftsmanship, but there is something uncommonly special about this guitar that is more than craft… it is pure art. I can’t tell you how much I love this instrument, and how thankful I am to have it. It has the voice that I have sought for so many years, and it is incredible to find an instrument that gives you exactly the voice you hear inside.
Just wanted to write and say thank you –thank you!!– and to let you know there is now another person in the world playing and loving one of your guitars. If you have any sort of mailing list, i would like to be added.
Dear Mr. Melo:
I purchased a JM3 Deluxe Custom 017.6001 A006 guitar from Golden Age Instruments just over one and one half years ago. I have waited to comment on the guitar until I have had time to get familiar with the set up, type of strings, and amp settings that work best for this guitar. After having time to get over the excitement of a new guitar and being able to play the guitar for a period of time, my impression is that this is an amazing guitar.
I have many fine instruments. One of the guitars I own is a Gibson L5CES, which is a fine guitar. However, I was looking for an archtop guitar that had more accoustic properties and was responsive to subtle playing techniques. The JM3 just “comes alive” when played. And, it just sounds better the more I play it. It sounds great both as an accoustic guitar and using the pickup through an amp.
As I mentioned, I have a collection of very fine guitars. However, if I could keep only one guitar of the collection it would be the Melo JM3.
Thank you for such a fine instrument that has enhanced the quality of my life. It brings me great pleasure to play the guitar, and listeners enjoy it as well.
Thank you again for building such great instruments.
You guitar is beautiful and there are some very smart features (like the possibility to raise the tailpiece or to make the longer scale and the removable pickguard). It is not yet as loud as I would like but I believe the guitar will “open up” in time like flat tops do, and I still have to “discover” all the possibilities offered by the different tailpiece positions (by the way, in which position will be increased the volume/loudness of the instrument). A superb guitar anyhow. So, here we go:
This guitar is a 2004 JM3 arch top guitar in European Spruce top and European Maple back, sides and neck. Fingerboard, bridge, pickguard and tailpiece are in Ebony and it has Grover Rotomatic tuning machines with ebony knobs. Non cutaway, 18″ body and D’Aquisto “Solo” style soundholes. This guitar is as good an instrument as it is from the visual point of view.
The JM3 has a very balanced sound and a very beautiful tone. Being brand new is not yet very loud, but excels both in fingerpicking and strumming. Overall, a very fine guitar, with mostly jazz character.
ACTION, FIT AND FINISH:
The guitar is finished with nitrocellulose lacquer and in Amber color, which gives beautiful appearance to both the maple and the bear claw spruce. The workmanship is flawless and the playability is superb. Action and scale length can be modified,thus having the possibility to adjust them to the player needs and tastes.
Josep Melo guitars are built with state of the art techniques and with very good craftmanship. It’s brand new but I have no doubts on its reliability and durability.
Josep Melo is not only an excellent guitar builder, he is very professional as well as supportive in relationships with customers. All details of the guitar were extensively discussed and agreed with him, both by phone and e-mail, before starting construction.
Josep Melo guitars are among the best built today. The quality of the work and of the materials are first class and I am sure his flat tops and classicals guitars are first class as well. I recommend this builder without hesitation.
Hope is ok, Josep,
muchas gracias and best regards
JM5 review, by Chitarra (WWW).
“Tradició i modernitat / Lutier i guitarrer, de la fusta al so”. Barcelona (April 18 – May 27, 2007).
“‘S subject” Produced by the Consortium of Catalonia Handicraft Trade, Craft and Fashion of Catalonia. Made by Triandina and coordinated by Jesús Angel Prieto.
Guitar Player. Banco de pruebas, guitarras eléctricas. EM1-EM2, Prototipos de Josep Melo. Rafael Zaragoza.
Número 35, Julio – Agosto de 1994. Barcelona.
Diario de Sabadell. Cara a Cara. Josep Melo, Luthier. Víctor Colomer.
24 de Diciembre de 1994.
Diario La Vanguardia. Guitarras a medida, Los luthiers catalanes luchan por consolidarse en un pais de autodidactas. Donat Putx.
Domingo 18 de Junio de 1995.
Guitar Player Magazine. Josep Melo EM1 Deluxe seis cuerdas. Manel Miquel.
Número 51, Julio de 1996. Barcelona.
Guitar Player Magazine. Josep Melo AM3 seis cuerdas especial. Manel Miquel.
Número 57, Febrero de 1997. Barcelona.
Guitar Player Magazine. Josep Melo JM Deluxe. Manel Miquel.
Número 61, Junio de 1997. Barcelona.
Guitar Player Magazine. Josep Melo In Memoriam James L. D’Aquisto. Manel Miquel.
Número 67/98, Mayo de 1998. Barcelona.
Guitar Player Magazine. JM Especial 16 Acústica y JM Especial 16 Eléctrica. Ramón Miquel.
Número 72/98, Septiembre de 1998. Barcelona.
Guitar Player Magazine. Melo JM3 Deluxe 18″ y EM3 In Memoriam James L. D’Aquisto. Guitarra acústica y eléctrica. Ramón Miquel.
Número 83, Barcelona.
Guitar Player Magazine. Josep Melo AM2 Suprem. Ramón Miquel.
Número 89/00, Barcelona.
20 TH Century Guitar. Product: Melo AM-1 Supreme. Ray Matuza.
March 2001, New York.
THE VIUELA de MANO and THE SPANISH GUITAR. A DICTIONARY OF THE MAKERS AF PLUCKED AND BOWED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF SPAIN (1200-2002). José L. Romanillos Vega & Marian Harris Winspear. Edited by The Sanguino Press.
AXE periodico per chitarristi. 6 Acoustic Guitar Meeting di Sarzana.
N. 81, Ottobre 2003, Roma.
CHITARRE. Acoustic Guitar International Meeting a Sarzana.
Ottobre 2003, Roma.
Blue book of Acoustic Guitars – Eighth Edition. Zachary R. Fjestad. Edited by S.P.
APRENENT DELS MESTRES / FOLLOWING THE MASTERS. GUITARS FROM Josep Melo.
Acoustic Guitar magazine. ALL JAZZED UP. Custom archtop guitars from six individual luthiers. By Teja Gerken.
Issue No. 248. August 2013, Richmond. COVER. MORE INFO.
Jazz Guitar Book magazine (Japan).
Issue No. 35. COVER.
American Lutherie. Meet the Maker: Josep Melo. By Mónica Esparza.
Issue No. 120. Winter 2014, Tacoma. COVER. MORE INFO.
These are examples of catalogs, brochures and posters that MELOGUITARS has printed:
Electronic version of general catalog (2002) available: DOWNLOAD PDF